Final checklist for new coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tangerinedreams, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. tangerinedreams

    tangerinedreams In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Gooood afternoon!

    I'm finally getting my chickens on Saturday and I just wanted to confirm a couple of things with the experts:

    * The ground I have put the run onto is soft dirt, with palm size rocks hidden amongst it. It is fairly uneven ground. Do you think I will have to make some extra protection from foxes and rodents? Like will they be able to dig underneath it and cause havoc once they get in?

    * As I say its soft dirt and rocks, do you think it'd be better to put a new layer of either saw-dust, wood chippings, wood shavings, soil or sand to even it out and maybe make it more compact? (I have all the materials, which would you suggest?)

    * I have bought one of those rat catcher devices where the rat goes in one hole, eats the poison pellet then goes off to die. I read today though that the poisoned rat could spread that poison into the run where the chickens may eat it and get ill themselves. Is this something to worry about?

    Thanks for the answers in advance everyone! Gonna be very exciting getting three new girlfriends in one day!
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Predators can dig under fences even with hard ground. You should lay a "skirt" of wire flat on the ground all around the run. The chickens will love the soft dirt, but when it rains it will be a mess. I have never covered mine with anything else, and have never used rat poison, so I can't help you there.
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Most people fashion some kind of digging deterrent for their run, either a wire apron that extends outwards from the perimeter lying flat on the ground (staked down or secured in some way), or they dig a trench and bury wire. The other approach is to put a wire floor under the run, then put several inches of gravel or sand or dirt on top of that floor for the chickens to scratch in.

    I would not recommend doing nothing to deter dig in predation, unless you aren't trying to make your run secure in the first place.

    I have sand in my runs and I love it! It makes it very easy to pick up droppings with a kitty litter or similar scoop, and the sand dries out the droppings and keeps them odor free very nicely. The chickens also enjoy dustbathing in it.

    I have never looked into the rodent issue so I have no advice to offer there, sorry.

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